What Are the Natural Resources in South Carolina?
South Carolina has a bounty of natural resources. These include agricultural crops such as cotton, corn, fruits, vegetables and soybeans, as well as seafood from the state’s abundant water sources such as striped bass, catfish, crawfish, shrimp, clams and oysters. Timber is South Carolina’s largest cash crop, and forty-four of South Carolina’s 46 counties have active mining operations that yield 13 different minerals.
The 486 mines in South Carolina include four gold mines of which one is the largest in the eastern U.S. Cement, clay and aggregate are the top minerals extracted in South Carolina. Some of South Carolina’s lakes are created by damming rivers and produce hydroelectric power.
The forest industry of South Carolina contributes over $1.6 billion annually to its economy and is composed of more than five million acres of forestland. The major softwood is the loblolly pine. More than 320 secondary wood products companies are hosted in South Carolina that make products such as doors, windows, millwork and sporting goods. Over 35,500 people are employed in the timber industry in South Carolina as of August 2014.
South Carolina also has a significant tourism industry due to its coastal and fresh waters that attract recreational sportsmen, tourists and developers.